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New directors named at UKA’s High Performance Centres

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UK Athletics (UKA) today announced the appointment of new directors for its High Performance Centres (HiPAC) at Loughborough, North London and West London.


The directors will play a pivotal role in the development of the centres of excellence, that offer world class support to world class athletes through coaching, physiotherapy, sports science and medical advice.


The three new directors named today are:

  • Matt Favier – West London (Brunel and St Mary’s);
  • Eric Shirley  – North London (Lee Valley); and
  • Tim Jones - Loughborough.


Recruitment to find the new director at UKA’s fourth HiPAC at Birmingham is on-going.


UKA has worked with the English Institute of Sport (EIS) to make significant progress in establishing the HiPACs and the world leading support services they offer.


The directors will provide strong leadership to ensure the best training environments while working with athletes, coaches and the EIS to develop staff and facilities at the centres – which support 70% of funded athletes.


Matt Favier takes up his new post after being UKA’s London Performance Director. The 41-year-old joined UKA in 2003 after working for the Australian performance programme and Australian Institute of Sport. He also coached Harry Aikines-Aryeetey to World Junior 100m gold.


He said: “I feel strongly that the HiPACs are the next step forward in offering top class support to our leading athletes by pulling all the strings together.


“The director role is central to this and I am looking forward to developing the centre at Brunel and St Mary’s as a place of excellence.”


Former Olympic swimmer, Tim Jones joined UKA last July as Senior Performance Manager for disability after working as head of World Class Youth and on the Age programmes at British Swimming.


Jones, who competed in the 1988 Seoul Olympics over 200m Butterfly, has a strong coaching background working with both able-bodied and disability swimmers.


Eric Shirley, aged 51, joins UKA from London Marathon where he held the jobs of Elite Athlete Co-ordinator and Mini-marathon Race Director.


His father, also called Eric, competed in the 3,000 metres steeplechase final at the 1956 Melborne Olympics with team mates Chris Brasher and John Disley.


“Eric Jnr”, who was a member of the GB&NI management team at the Sydney and Athens Olympics, said: “I am thrilled and excited at being given the opportunity of working alongside our world class athletes, coaches and staff.


“I want to make a real contribution to make sure our athletes have the best possible support and environment to train and work in over the coming years.”


Dave Collins, UKA Performance Director, said:


“These are really important positions as we see the HiPACs as the engine rooms of our future success.


“We have taken a lot of trouble to recruit the right people and I’m very pleased to announce Matt, Tim and Eric as they will make a significant difference to the quality of support for our World class athletes and coaches.”